15 Important Tech Terms for Non-Tech Entrepreneurs
You've done your homework to vet your startup idea and you're now ready to start working with your product development team to build and launch your product. There's just one problem: you're not really a techie.
Whether you're launching a web, mobile or IoT project, here are 15 key technical terms that will help you speak the same language as your development team and make sure what gets built represents your vision for your startup.
An application is simply a piece of software. Often people say “application” for web-based software and “app” for mobile software, but the lines are increasingly blurred.
A collection of linked pages with information that can be accessed through web browsers. A website may have embedded apps, for example, an embedded app can allow a website to collect payment.
3. Web app
An application that is delivered to the user via their web browser. Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, etc. are all considered web apps, rather than just websites. Web apps usually have more functionality than websites.
4. Native app
An application designed for one specific platform. iOS and Android have native apps that only run on devices with those operating systems. This means that if you want your app to work on both, say an iPhone and a Galaxy, your team would need to build two separate native apps, one for iOS and one for Android.
5. Hybrid app
An application that will work on many different platforms and devices because it combines the properties of a web app and a native app.
6. Internet of Things (IoT) device
A physical object that connects to other physical objects through the internet, which enables these objects to exchange data. An example of an IoT device is a smart lock which allows you to lock and unlock your physical door using the internet.
A sketch or visual outline created during the early stages of site development showing what information belongs on each page of a website. Once wireframes are finalized, a designer can use them as a basis for the site layout.
8. User interface (UI)
Every part of an application or website that a user can see and work with is part of the user interface. Depending on the device and platform, user interface interaction is accomplished with a keyboard, mouse, touch screen, menus, etc.
9. Front end
10. Back end
Everything “behind the curtain” that runs an app or website that the user generally does not see.
11. API (Application Programming Interface)
At its most basic level, an API is the bridge between a piece of software and an external system that performs various useful functions.
12. User experience (UX)
How a person uses an app or website, ideally optimized for ease of use, customer satisfaction and efficiency of accomplishing tasks.
13. Responsive design
Coding a website or web app so that it adapts smoothly to any size device screen. In the U.S., more than 52% of website traffic comes from mobile phones, so it's vital to use responsive design to ensure a smooth user experience.
14. A/B testing
A comparison of two versions of content or design to see which one gets a better response from users. This type of testing can be used for headlines, price points, graphics, copy, and many other variables that can be tested and optimized.
15. Usability testing
Evaluating your app or website user experience by watching people interact with it to accomplish typical tasks. Observing where testers run into difficulty allows you to make improvements and reduce confusion for your actual customers later on.
Obviously, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tech terms, but we think these should help you feel more comfortable in your initial technical meetings. But always remember, there's no such thing as a stupid question! We're here to help you every step of the way and we're always happy to stop and clarify anything you need to know. Now let's get your product launched!